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Iowa Cubs play game in front of completely empty stadium

Big League Stew

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The flooding nightmare in Iowa has had too many terrible, real life consequences, but it's impact has also been felt on the baseball world.

With the team's hometown of Des Moines under a voluntary evacuation order, the Iowa Cubs decided not to admit any fans into Saturday's game, a 5-4 victory by Chicago's AAA affiliate over Nashville

According the Des Moines Register, only two seats were occupied during the game at Principal Park, both by scouts who sat behind home plate. The game started at 4 p.m. so that no people would be attracted downtown by the stadium lights. The game wasn't broadcast on the radio, either.

So why'd they even play?

"The reason for playing is to maintain my obligation to the league — to play the 144-game schedule," Iowa Cubs GM Sam Bernabe told the paper. "With sand running out of the hourglass relative to where we're at in the schedule, I don't have a whole lot of flexibility.

"I'm trying to respect the wishes of the city, I'm trying to respect the wishes of the league, and I'm trying to keep the players from having too many doubleheaders.

More, from the Des Moines Register:

Manager Pat Listach could not see the stadium as the Iowa Cubs neared Des Moines International Airport Friday morning.

“I saw more flooding than I’ve ever seen out the window on the side of the plane I was sitting,” Listach said. “It’s just terrible, the flooding and the tragedy to the Boy Scouts in western Iowa.

“Makes you wonder just how important baseball really is in the grand scheme of things.”

The stadium reopened to fans on Sunday afternoon, attracting a crowd of 7,080 to a doubleheader that the Cubs swept. A few fans quoted in the paper said they were happy for the temporary distraction. There's no doubt they certainly deserve it.

If you'd like to help contribute to the ongoing relief efforts, visit the Red Cross.

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